July 9, 2019
Dear Scouting Friends:
The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America (the "National Council (BSA)") has confirmed that a Youth Protection oriented segment that was expected to run on the TODAY Show tomorrow (July 10th) has been postponed and that a new air date has yet to be confirmed. As the nature of content could change in the interim, the National Council (BSA) will continue to stay in touch with the producers of the segment so that it can provide our Council and other Councils with helpful information before the expected airing of the segment.
Like the National Council (BSA), we will continue to monitor these news reports and endeavor to keep you appraised of further developments. We also will provide you with information relating to these matters that you can share with business associates, friends or Scouting leaders and families. Such information includes the following:
SCOUTING IS SAFE:
The protection of youth is the primary obligation of every individual involved in the Michigan Crossroads Council and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) - including our leaders, parents, board and professional staff. Below are a few important points to share regarding our youth protection and your support of Scouting:
- Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of children in Scouting.
- The Michigan Crossroads Council and the National Council (BSA) have a mandatory Youth Protection Training program (which is considered to be one of the leading youth protection programs in the country). In addition, we mandate that all leaders, volunteers and staff members immediately report any abuse allegation to law enforcement.
- Throughout our history, we have implemented strong youth protection policies to prevent future abuse, including mandatory youth protection training and a formal leader-selection process that includes criminal background checks. Since the 1920's, Scouting has maintained a Volunteer Screening Database to prevent individuals accused of abuse or inappropriate conduct from joining or re-entering our programs.
- We fully support and advocate for the creation of a national registry overseen by a governmental entity, similar to the national sex offender registry, of those who are suspected of child abuse or inappropriate behavior with a child, and thus allowing all youth serving organizations to share and access such information.
In a recent press conference conducted by the BSA, Dr. Janet Warren, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavorial Sciences at the University of Virginia made the following statements and key observations based on her research.
- The data demonstrated that the Scouting program is safe and the BSA’s use of a database to prevent unsuitable adults from accessing children was cutting edge and it worked.
- 100% of all cases reported over the last 50 years were reported to law enforcement.
- The research underscores the need for a national database to track persons unsuitable to work with youth, similar to the one the BSA has used for almost 100 years.
- The rate of incidence of reported abuse in BSA programs was far less than the rate of incidence in society as a whole. And the data shows that the BSA’s youth protection efforts since the 1980’s have been highly effective in preventing abuse.
For more information about our Youth Protection program visit https://michiganscouting.org/youthprotection
SCOUTING IN MICHIGAN IS STRONG AND GROWING:
As we learn more about the financial discussions underway at our national organization, it’s important to note that Scouting in the Michigan Crossroads Council is as strong financially and programmatically today as it’s been in many years. As our Council is a separate non-profit 501c3 corporation based in the State of Michigan, the Michigan Crossroads Council should not be impacted by the recent news stories regarding issues that affect the National Council (BSA) and its operations based in Texas.
Below are a few facts about the Michigan Crossroads Council:
- The Michigan Crossroads Council is financially strong and its membership is growing! More than 60,185 boys and girls participate in Scouting in our Council, despite a declining demographic and more competition from other youth-serving organizations than ever before.
- Our Council receives no funding from the National Council (BSA). In fact, we pay fees to National Council (BSA) as a part of our charter agreement and for specific services. We receive value back from the national organization, but we operate as a financially independent not-for-profit corporation.
- Our programming and services will go on uninterrupted regardless of what, if any, financial restructuring the National Council (BSA) pursues.
- Dollars given locally to support Scouting in the Michigan Crossroads Council stay at the Michigan Crossroads Council.
- Your donation ensures a quality Scouting program locally, and is key in supporting programs such as ScoutReach (serving hard-to-serve communities), Youth Leadership Training, and our camping facilities.
Scouting in Michigan is safe and it is strong. And with your help, we will continue to serve boys and girls with a program of character building, citizenship training, and leadership development that instills values for a lifetime.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com
Thank you for your continued support of Scouting.